Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Workbench Detail: Dog Holes

I am in the camp that prefers round dog holes in a bench top.  Square holes require perfect planning and construction to get them in the right place.  I'm great at the first (planning) but kind of "meh" at the second.  Round  holes are easier to add after the top has been glued up, and they work with a lot of aftermarket accessories.  With my new bench I will be using a set of Bench Pups and a Wonder Pup, along with some Grammercy holdfasts and some 3/4 pegs for much of the workholding.  All of this works just fine with round holes in the bench.

Chamfering the holes is one of the details I latched onto while planning the bench.  This makes it easier to get accessories into holes by slightly widening the mouth.  It also helps prevent the hole from chipping out when you remove an accessory.  The LVL is particularly prone to flaking so this was an important detail.

Here is the before shot of a typical hole, made with a 3/4" forstner bit in a drill press.

Holes in LVL are prone to chip-out
And here is a hole after a very slight chamfer was added with a router.

Chamfer the hole to make it more durable
Of course, safety first even if it includes silly pink filters on your dust mask.

Pink = Safe
Sorry to be so stingy with the details on the bench design, but I will be adding more posts about my unique, new, and possibly foolish idea very soon!


Eric said...

I agree Aaron. Round holes are the way to go.
Lots & lots of holding options.
A guy even turned me on to the trick of using a 3/4 dowel with a rubber crutch tip on the end for an inexpensive bench dog and they work great.
Total cost, maybe a dollar each.
Can't wait to see your bench posts.
Thanks Aaron.

Aaron said...

Eric, I may have to make a few inexpensive bench dogs like you suggest. Bench Pups from LV/Veritas come in sets of two, but I lost one of them within the first 2 days they were out of the box. Talk about frustrating! I have no idea where the thing went, and I've looked all over the shop for hours. I even got the neighbors looking when they stopped by to chat, heh.
I guess I haven't learned to take care of my things yet...